Your mom and dad are getting older. They could be the pictures of health, but you still need to talk to them about the importance of having a comprehensive care plan in mind. If something happens, you can focus on helping them by having a plan in place and not making plans in a rush.
Why would they need a care plan in place? One in nine older adults is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. If your mom or dad were found to have Alzheimer’s, their skills would decline over time. At some point, the ability to manage money and take care of themselves goes away.
Your parent could have a stroke and need more care than you can give. It’s impossible to predict the future, but you can take steps to ensure their care needs are met by having powers of attorney protections and advance directives or living wills drawn up by an elder law attorney.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
If your parents cannot speak for themselves, they want to choose an agent to make decisions. This person has to be someone they trust to make decisions following their wishes.
They need to have both financial and medical powers of attorney. Someone needs to jump in to make sure bills are paid on time and that financial matters are taken care of promptly to avoid late payments and added fees. A medical power of attorney covers what medical care is given in different situations.
What Are Advance Directives and Living Wills?
Advance directives and living wills lay out what your parents want to happen if specific criteria occur. If your dad had a stroke, would he want to be placed on a feeding tube if he couldn’t eat? If your mom had Alzheimer’s and developed a severe infection in the late stages, would she want to be placed on antibiotics?
It can lay out what they want after death. Would they want a funeral service or memorial? How about cremation or burial? What about last rites?
Talk About Affording Long-Term Care
It’s also important to talk about how they would afford long-term care if it’s needed. Is your mom or dad a veteran? If so, Aid and Attendance benefits may help out. If they’re low-income, they may qualify for Medicaid and need a lawyer’s expertise in the application process.
Don’t let your parents wait until a care plan is essential. There are many components involved in a comprehensive care plan, and some of them require legal expertise from an elder law expert.
Talk to an elder law attorney about medical and financial powers of attorney, advance directives, and financial measures like Medicaid and other ways to pay for long-term care.
If you or a loved need assistance with Elder Law in Vestavia, AL contact Nolan Elder Law & Estate Planning today. (205) 390-0101